Typically a Chassis Rating Plate will have a list of 4 numbers (5 numbers if a 3 axle vehicle), sometimes with a description to the left side, starting from the top of the list

  • GVM – Gross Vehicle Mass – the total allowable design weight of the vehicle.
  • GCM – Gross Combination Mass – the total allowable weight of the towing vehicle and towed trailer. (Note – towed trailer weight can’t exceed the towbar rated weight)
  • 1 – Axle 1 total allowable weight
  • 2 – Axle 2 total allowable weight
  • (3 – Axle 3 total allowable weight)

Below is a chassis rating plate from a Fiat Ducato

Fiat Ducato Step 1 Plate

From the top of the plate

  • Vehicle Manufacturer
  • European Holomogation number
  • Vehicle Identification number (VIN) – 17 digits long
  • GVM – 3650 kg
  • GCM – 6150 kg
  • Front axle rating – 1850 kg
  • Rear Axle rating – 2000 kg

A Step / Stage 2 plate or Stufe 2 (German) or étape 2 (French) is affixed by the body manufacturer and may change the values of the base vehicle. Note, each subsequent “Stage” rating plate over rides the previous one, hence the plate with the highest stage number is the only one relevant for your GVM, GCM and axle ratings.

For the Fiat Ducato above, Capron has increased the GVM to 3850 kg, and decreased the GCM to 5750 kg. They have also increased the front axle rating to 1950 kg.

All of the above weights are the maximum weights that the manufacturer has rated the vehicle to operate at. However, depending on how your vehicle has been registered, it doesn’t mean that you can operate at these weights. The above vehicle could be registered with a GVM of 3500kg, so that it qualifies for a WOF, but this would limit the total legal on road weight to 3500kg. Normally the axle weights on these tags is also the legal maximum on road weights for these axles too.

Example of ALKO Step 2 Plate

Have you ever compared your actual axle weights against these tags? If your vehicle has been to VTNZ or similar for a WOF or COF, your axle weights can be found on the inspection sheet in the brake performance area. Or alternatively take it to a Weight-bridge. Not sure of your registered GVM, try

If you are exceeding any of these axle weights or the GVM your vehicle is registered with, you are operating your vehicle illegally. You could be fined, or if you are involved in an accident your insurance may be void.

Check under the Vehicles menu to see if your vehicle could be up-rated to higher weights, or get in touch with LoadSafe NZ.

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